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How to Remove a VW Bus Transmission

Updated April 17, 2017

The VW Bus Type 2, also known as the minibus, Kombi or microbus, gained popularity during the hippie movement of the 1960s. It gave rise to the design of modern passenger and cargo vans. Its initial release in 1950 was favourably accepted because it provided a roomy and economical mode of transport. The transmission is prone to normal wear and tear and would need to be removed to better facilitate an efficient repair. The project is a do-it-yourself job if you have basic auto repair knowledge and the right tools.

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  1. Park the vehicle in a safe and level area. Disconnect the battery cables prior to removing the transmission.

  2. Turn the wing nuts by hand and remove them from the clutch cable. Do not allow the cable to turn while removing the wing nuts. The original cable has a slot for inserting a screwdriver to prevent the cable from rotating while turning the wing nuts.

  3. Use a socket wrench to loosen and remove the pair of 13mm bolts for the clamp that secures the bowden tube on the transmission. The bowden tube holds the clutch cable in place. Remove the clamp and the bowden tube.

  4. Remove the backup switch that operates the rear reversing lights when the vehicle is in reverse gear. The switch is located near the Bowden tube and can be removed by hand. The backup switch is located on the passenger side of the transmission on 1972 to 1974 models that have a dual carburettor set up.

  5. Use a socket wrench to remove the bolt that secures the grounding line to the transmission. The grounding line is located above the reversing light switch.

  6. Use either an Allen wrench or square head screwdriver when removing the six bolts that hold the CV joint on each rear wheel. It is best to bag the CV joints to prevent contamination from dust and other particles that may affect performance.

  7. Use a socket wrench to remove the screw that connects the shift rod to the transmission lever, and remove the shift rod.

  8. Use a floor jack or ATV jack to support the transmission as you remove its attachment bolts. Place a wooden block between the top of the jack and the transmission casing. Raise the jack until it engages the transmission. Use a socket wrench to remove the pair of transmission carrier bolts on the transmission carrier, as well as the pair of bolts on the transmission limiting stop.

  9. Hold the shift rod while pulling out the transmission using the jack. You may need to lower the height of the jack to clear the rear valence when pulling out the transmission. The transmission is light enough to manoeuvre it from under vehicle.

  10. Tip

    You may elect to drain the transmission fluid prior to removal. The relative lightness of the transmission assembly lets you skip the draining process.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wrench set
  • Ratchet wrench and socket set
  • Screwdriver set
  • Floor jack or ATV jack
  • Allen wrench

About the Author

Allen Gagle is a writer in Orlando, Fla. and has been writing professionally since 1995. He has worked as editor for WebNovice Online and co-founded "3D Trends Magazine." Gagle has written articles, reviews and tutorials for various publications and technical journals in the computer and entertainment industries, both online and in print.

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